Words are, when rightly considered, a never-failing source of wonder, and amazement. We point to this wonder which God has provided as the greatest means of revelation, fellowship and communion, in order that we may behold the marvelous works of God and magnify and praise Him. Without His words we cannot rightly know God and except we have words we cannot give utterance or expression to our praise of Him.
In the Gospel of John the first chapter, the Only Begotten of the Father is called THE Word. He, we are told, was with God and He is God from the beginning. This Word came into our flesh and dwelt among us in such a manner that we could see Him and behold His glory.
This Word, in the eternal counsels of the trinity, counselled and decreed to reveal Himself. This revelation of Himself to us He calls His word; the Word of God. All that He reveals of Himself is called His word. This word is a living, powerful and efficacious word. It is spoken of in Scripture as a word of life, a word of righteousness, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, a word of salvation, a gracious word, a pure word, a holy word, etc.
Glory be to His name for giving us this word of revelation. What a source of joy and comfort it gives us, His people. We do not begin to appreciate it as we aught. It is often only when we are deprived of a thing that we truly see its greatness and value. Our young men in the service often speak of their bibles as their best friends for when they are far from home and friends they find that their bibles give them a source of strength and comfort such as they perhaps never experienced so fully before. Read the word prayerfully and faithfully and you will experience increasingly that it is a never-failing fountain of strength and that it is mighty, in those that believe, unto eternal life.
God in His eternal wisdom and good pleasure gave us His revelation in the form of words. These were given, as both spoken and written, in human language. Spoken, first by Himself and out of His own mouth, as for instance to Adam, Abraham and Moses and to many others, especially in the old dispensation and also thru the mouth of His prophets who often prefaced their prophecies with “thus saith the Lord”. Therefore also God is spoken of, as in a figure of speech, as having a mouth and lips and a voice. This same God, the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us, “hath in these last days also spoken unto us by His Son”. The words of Jesus spoken in the hearing of the people and preserved for us in the New Testament represent the final phase of the revelation by means of the directly spoken word of God.
Besides this directly spoken word of God we have the written word of God which He revealed to His servants the prophets and apostles, the “holy men of old who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”. This written word was given to us also in human word and language capable of being read and understood by every people and nation, for although originally written in the Hebrew and Greek languages, God wonderfully provided for its translation into nearly every language and dialect used by man.
What a marvel of providence that God created us with the faculty and ability to conceive of words with which to give expression to our thoughts and also the knowledge and capability of receiving and comprehending the thoughts of others. Nearly all fellowship and communion with our fellowmen would be impossible without words as the means.
Far surpassing this fact in importance however is the fact that without words our knowledge of, and fellowship with, God, would be impossible for by His word He makes Himself known to us and we give expression to our love and thankfulness to God our Maker and our Saviour, by our words.
Words are thoughts, either spoken or written and are, in the case of the spoken word, sounds. Written words are symbols.
Sounds are vibrations set up in the voice-box and modulated, framed and produced with the aid of mouth, lips and tongue in such a marvelous way that they become intelligible to others. How little thought we give to the wonder of creation and providence that the organs of our speech display. The vibrations so produced are, in turn, taken up, in the recipient, by that equally marvelous organ called the ear and relayed to the brain where they are interpreted and become words; to him who hears them.
What, you may ask, is the purpose of all this? We have already somewhat touched upon this in the foregoing but we will also mention a few things God in His word has to tell us in regard to words. The words that God speaks are spiritual and although we can hear them with our ears and see them with our eyes yet we cannot rightly comprehend them because we do not, by nature, have spiritual discernment. That is the reason also that we are exhorted to pray for hearing ears and seeing eyes and understanding hearts. We can even go a step further and say that we are not only unable but also wholly unwilling to hear and understand His word for it is entirely repugnant to us except His Spirit renew us. This hearing and seeing and understanding are gifts of God’s grace which His Holy Spirit gives to His children. It is indeed marvelous what light is shed on God’s word when our eyes are opened to it and our hearts are made receptive. We are made to see it then as a word spoken to ourselves personally. We love it and embrace it and are filled with love to Him who wrote it to us, much as a lover receiving a letter from her espoused one. This is beautifully and spiritually portrayed in the Song of Solomon where Christ and His bride, the church, are typically pictured as lovers.
This word of God is also said to be “Powerful.” So powerful is this word that it can “cast down strongholds”. These strongholds are our hard and impenitent hearts, words so powerful, that they can break our hard hearts of flint and make them soft and receptive to His grace. It is also a “two-edged sword” that “pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow”. It is unto life and unto death—unto life in those that believe and unto death in those who reject it; life for all His elect; death for the reprobate.
Upon this our earthly path the word is a lamp and a light in such, a way that it illumines our way and reveals God’s will with regard to us in all things. Above all it is a word of salvation and eternal life in the sense that it reveals the full counsel and purpose of God in Christ Jesus in the matter of our salvation. It is a veritable mine of treasure which, if we dig deeply into, will yield rich spiritual treasure far surpassing the gold of Ophir and all the diamonds of Kimberly. This is indeed treasure that rusts not nor decays and which thieves cannot break thru unto and steal. Search diligently and prayerfully and may all the rich promises of His word be fulfilled in you unto your salvation and unto His endless praise.
Seeing then we have this precious word of God as His gift of free grace should not our words also manifest a proper relationship and conformity with the perfect word? Our words to Him should be His words, in us and thru us, back to Him. All our words are lies and it is only when we speak His words that we speak truth indeed. If it is impossible, except by faith, to please God, it is also impossible to think or write anything pleasing to God except we be renewed by His Spirit. For every idle word we speak we shall be judged! How carefully then should we watch over our thoughts and words and pray continually, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips,” and “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer”.
With words we bless God and with words we curse our neighbor. We perform the chief part of our thankfulness unto God, namely, our prayers, by means of words and yet perhaps the chief part of our sin before God and men is also performed by the same means. These things ought not to be so. Heed the words of the preacher in Ecclesiastes who says “Be not rash with thy mouth and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few”. May God grant us a greater love and devotion to His word and may we, by His grace, learn daily to serve Him, in word, in thot and in deed.